Video Killed the Radio Star (But it Might be the Ad Man’s – er, or Woman’s – Saving Grace)

Posted: January 26, 2018 by Angela Corbett


When I was but a wee babe, my parents used to watch a lot of “MTV Classic.”

At the time a lot of first generation music videos were playing on the channel. As I was around seven years old when I was exposed to this stuff, and yes, had the Internet and computers for as long as I could remember, my parents, who are older Gen-Xers had to explain a lot of stuff to me.

One of the things they had to explain to me was how revolutionary the music video was — how it killed bands that didn’t look like Duran Duran, or bands that were technically amazing… but really, really boring to watch.

There’s more than a coincidental parallel between the rise of music videos taking over the airwaves and the rise of video content taking over the Internet.

Fun Fact: By 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the US.

Videos drive more engagement. Videos produce higher clickthrough rates. Videos are the most common type of ad that we see in the digital age.

Conversely — videos are expensive. Videos take a lot of time. Videos require a lot of people, both internally and externally. Videos are kind of a pain all the way around.

Or maybe not.

It’s time that advertisers take a cue from some of the biggest celebrities of the digital age, Youtubers.

First and foremost, not everything has to go “viral” which in this day and age requires millions (if not billions) of views. Nor does it need to become a cultural sensation.

Secondly, not everything has to have a wildly high production value.

While there are certainly videos out there that get shared for their amazing production quality, that’s not what makes up the lion’s share of the market these days. In the age of Snapchat and of the Vlogger, viewers aren’t looking for polished content as much as they’re looking for something that they can share.

And what’s the most sharable?

It isn’t Ben-Hur sized productions, but rather, “snackable” content. In the same way that music videos turned listening to music from an expedition to something you could do before school while eating cereal (like my mom way back in ninteen-eighty-something) “snackable” content turns Internet content from something that you have to search for into something that’s very sharable, and thus, just pops up on your social media feeds.

Still not sure what that means? Take Buzzfeed’s content for example, their Facebook content, specifically. What makes them so darn fun? They’re  usually around a minute, and highly dynamic.

And much like a highly-addictive can of Pringles, once you pop, you can’t stop. A one minute video on a “Five Minute Microwave Cheesecake!” leads you down a rabbit hole that finishes several hours later with you swearing that you could make functional fidget spinner cookies.

(Why must we play God like this?)

For even more punch, they’ve divvied up their content into separate, genre specific pages.

If you want to watch cooking content, pop over to Tasty. Or maybe you’re into DIY-ing things, so you’d prefer to watch Nifty’s videos. Or maybe you really like makeup and hair, so you’ll get funneled over to Top Knot.

You get the point. Video killed the radio star, and it’ll kill you too unless you get with the times.

Worried? Don’t be. We here at Jeffrey Scott are like… the Gordon Ramsay of content. We’re great at making snackable content, and we’d love to serve it to you.

(We also won’t call you an idiot sandwich. Promise.)

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